Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year music deaths

It's time to catch up on several music stars who have passed away during the last few weeks.
The latest is Buddy Greco who has died in Las Vegas aged 90. Buddy is best known for his 1960 version of The Lady Is A Tramp which was a memorable if minor UK hit but his career spanned over
80 years. He first visited the UK in 1949 and became a long time resident of Essex, as well as the US. He celebrated his 80th year in show business with an event in Southend in 2013 attended by Kenny Lynch and Paul Young among others. His first successful record was Ooh Look-A There Ain't She Pretty in 1947 and other US hits included I Ran All The Way Home in 1951 and Mr Lonely in 1962. He recorded many albums from the 50s to the 90s and continued to perform live, including  a UK tour in 2012.
Another death is that of Sylvester Potts, a long time member of The Contours. Although not in the original line up, he joined in 1961 before the group had their biggest hit with Do You Love Me - a record which sparked the rise of Tamla Motown, certainly in the UK. Other smaller but equally exciting hits followed with Shake Sherry, Can You Do It and Can You Jerk Like Me. Sylvester left the group but rejoined a reformed line up and enjoyed more mid 60s success with Just A Little Misunderstanding and First I Look At The Purse. Sylvester remained with the group until 2004 when he left to form a new version of the band which, after an out of court settlement,
became The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts.
Debbie Reynolds, who died on December 28, the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher, was best known as an actress but had a huge hit in 1957 with the film theme song Tammy. Other recordings in the 50s and early 60s included All Grown Up and Am I That Easy To Forget? She even tried her hand at folk with an LP in 1963 and performed for several years in cabaret in Las Vegas but it was as a film, TV and stage actress that she made most impact. The first of her three husbands was 50s crooner Eddie Fisher, Carrie's father.
English singer Peter Sarstedt, who has died aged 75, was the brother of Eden Kane and Robin Sarstedt and achieved huge success in 1969 with Where Did You Go To (My Lovely), a song about a poor girl who joins the jet set, which went to number one in 14 countries. His career started under the name Peter Lincoln when he recorded a song called In The Day Of My Youth. Other records after his smash hit included You're A Lady, Beirut and I Am A Cathedral but none of them replicated his big hit and he joined several Silver Sixties shows in the 80s and 90s.
Less well known but another significant loss is Big Cynthia, aged
47, a southern soul singer who was the daughter of Junior Walker. Her songs included Ain't Nothing Like a Big Woman, Eating Ain't Cheating and That Nookie Thang.
RIP to them all.


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